Suzuki under fire for immigration comment

David Suzuki has earned the wrath of many by saying that Canada “is full” and our immigration policy is “disgusting.”

It’s surprising coming from Suzuki, a third generation Canadian, who believes we should share the abundance of the earth.

So why doesn’t he want to share Canada’s abundance?

As Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday, Canada was built by immigrants?

Now Suzuki wants to keep them out due to climate change.

Is this xenophobia?

I’d like Suzuki to explain his comments.

I interviewed Suzuki at one point when he wrote a book about his life.

I found him to be engaging and forthright.  He spoke openly about not fitting in as a teenager and how isolated he felt.

I enjoyed our conversation.

Now he wants to limit how many people come to Canada, a country where he felt isolated.

Last year I did research for the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development board. From that research it was clear that Canadians aren’t having enough children to fill the growing demands in the workforce as baby boomers retire. The only way we can fill the void is by immigration.

Canadian government data shows by 2031, we will have a worker shortfall of close to 4 million.

But Suzuki believes more immigrants will put on strain on natural resources.

Is Suzuki being selfish? Does he not understand the issues facing Canada? Or does he have a point?


11 thoughts on “Suzuki under fire for immigration comment

  1. I can find much in media attacking the comments, but not anything translating them into English.
    This is a sad trend in modern journalism, mixing opinion with news. Even the journalist attacks with
    his politically correct viewpoint.
    French reporter –
    ” En Australie, les environnementalistes s’opposent à la croissance démographique et
    à l’immigration en soutenant que les ressources naturelles ne les supporteraient pas.
    Qu’en pensez-vous?
    Canadian expert —
    “Oh, je crois que le Canada est plein aussi! Même si c’est le deuxième plus grand pays
    au monde, notre surface utile est réduite. Notre politique d’immigration est écoeurante:
    nous pillons les pays du Sud en les privant de leurs futurs cadres et nous voulons augmenter
    notre population pour favoriser la croissance de notre économie. C’est dingue!
    French reporter —
    C’est pourtant un peu égoïste de vouloir fermer la porte derrière soi…**
    Canadian interviewee–
    Ça ne veut pas dire que nous n’avons pas de responsabilité envers ceux qui peinent à survivre ailleurs.
    Mais il n’y a plus de place. Toutefois, le Canada devra toujours ouvrir ses portes à ceux qui souffrent de l’oppression ou d’une urgence. Lorsque dans les années 1970, nous avons accueilli 50 000 boat people du Vietnam, j’ai été particulièrement fier d’être canadien. ..”

  2. “dingue” is used as “crazy”, ‘mad” including the sense of crazy with love.
    The French journalist is provocative, even insulting in the ‘egotist’ remark
    Suzuki apparently makes 2 points.
    1. This land is almost full of liveable areas for humans, geography and resources.
    2. By importing the best-and-the-brightest educated from less-developed countries we are
    depriving their citizensof their vital human resources.
    -Have wondered about the first – the current idea that we are a charity running an open house
    with unlimited resources is simplistic. How is it measured?
    What are this country’s Constitutional responsibilities to foreign nations? What are our moral ones?.
    -Very much interested for a long time in the second point – have we been giving back for this co-option
    of their investments in their future leaders?
    Media online appear to think Mr. Susuki has no right to an opinion, and certainly the Conservative
    government does not want the citizenry to think about them, considering the angry response.

    David has told the world about his challenges growing up, but an elder in that family said it turned out
    to be thebest thing to happen to the ctlan, blasting them out into the mainstream where such
    as this nephew could have opportunies unthought of in their narrow West Coast ethnic community.

  3. Thanks for the French What did David say.
    Things can be lost in translation for sure.
    I think one of the issues for Suzuki is the fear about how more people will impact the climate. Moving them from already environmentally challenged countries who have little money for green energy, might help the planet as a whole. I think that’s an important point to think about.
    I do think we take bright minds away from developing countries. The hope would be these scholars and achievers would one day give back to the land of their birth in some way.
    This also leads me to a story I heard about three immigrants refusing to state in the citizenship oath that they pledge their allegiance to the Queen and have taken it to court.For heaven’s sake, this is Canada’s oath, this ties in to our history as a country, say the oath and stop wasting taxpayers money in the courts.

  4. The application is to Ontario Superior Court, which could create precedent. Nice for the lawyer
    taking the case, and trust the applicants are paying him firm from their own pockets.
    It is hard to stomach these publicity seeking people who feel entitled to dictate the terms on which
    they will continue to honour us with their presence and are helping themselves to the resources of
    our land with not taking on the duties of citizenship. One is an elderly former Star journalist..
    Do we really care if they ever achieve citizenship and the benefits thereof or just continue to be
    freeloaders ? Only 3 of c36 million inhabitants so only of passing interest unless the case goes higher.
    Presenting oneself as a victim is a favourite way to get free ink nowadays..and gives media an
    angle to say how they/their pollsters think the rest of us feel about our way of governing the country.
    The monarchy is not a popularity contest, it is fact of our form of government. Lots of republics
    around to apply to for citizenship if one can’t stand living here.

  5. (‘Disgusting’, above must be a mistranslation of ‘dingue’.
    But Kathy, where would you draw the line in allowing people to use the courts to clarify “rights”?
    Frivolous I agree, but public opinion does not decide whose cause is worthy of consideration.
    Cannot the Ontario judge decide to dismiss the case ? And who is allowed to do this system –
    apparently it’s not confined to Citizens.
    Haven’t seen coverage in newspapers yet from yesterday, but hope someone reports how our
    system actually works, not just how people feel and the lawyers’ pitch.
    Judge, Crown etc. are already on the public payroll so this just delays another case.
    If anyone wants us to cut our ties to the Crown, they need to look at the process necessary,
    not just whine about circumstances they accepted when they decided to live here.

  6. Re the Crown connection – just look at the family of nations it puts in, and consider when
    we last were shooting at each other…

  7. Here is one of the unlikely trio from Wiki- no doubt hauling a good salary at Uof T at taxpayer expense,,
    “Bar-Natan holds both US and Israeli citizenships, and is a permanent resident of Canada.
    Although eligible for Canadian citizenship, he refuses to take the citizenship oath because it would require
    him to swear allegiance to royalty.

  8. Re thet he law firm for the applicants – UofT staff have lots of time over their extended summer holiday–
    “Even the best-known pro bono lawyers need to make money, however, such as Peter Rosenthal, who
    maintains positions as professor of both math and law at the University of Toronto, in addition to his
    practice with Roach Schwartz & Associates in the city.
    Rosenthal says his motivations when it comes to social justice are mainly political. While most lawyers
    of this ilk consider themselves left-wing, Rosenthal is a lifelong Marxist. Among his significant victories
    was a 2003 Supreme Court ruling giving small political parties – such as the Communist Party he
    represented at the time – the same tax benefits as larger parties for contributions…
    He says Roach Schwartz has given him “carte blanche” to take on cases as he sees fit ..”i

  9. the Sun re the female applicant –
    “Topey came to Canada 35 years ago [from Jamaica], and though she feels patriotic towards thecountry, being Rastafarian she regards Queen Elizabeth as the head of Babylon.
    “I have slave descendants … and slavery was headed by the British monarch,” Topey, 46, said Friday outside
    court when asked her biggest problem with the oath.”
    She also has a literacy problem as her ‘descendents’ would not be slaves …nor did those historical monarchs
    run the international slave trade. Can’t find her occupation.
    I’ll leave you to check out the Irishman carrying his father’s baggage when he arrived. Perhaps we should have incoming luggage of would-be migrants checked for carrying the virus of old destructive hates ito this new country.

  10. Kathy – if you really want to raise female blood pressure, check out the Quebec academics who
    have stalled this country’s signing on to the change in royal legislation that would allow the Prince
    of Wales’ elder son’s immenent firstborn to succeed to the throne despite her/his gender. All
    16 nations have endorsed this except us.

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